Edward P. Djerejian
Edward P. Djerejian is the first Director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, where he assumed his new position in August 1994. He is one of our country’s most distinguished and experienced diplomats. His career has spanned the administrations of eight U.S. Presidents. A leading expert on the complex political, security, economic, religious and ethnic issues of the Middle East, Ambassador Djerejian has held a number of increasingly responsible positions related to this vital region.
Prior to his nomination by President Clinton as United States Ambassador to Israel (1993), Ambassador Djerejian served both President Bush and President Clinton as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (1991-1993) and President Reagan and President Bush as U.S. Ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic (1988-1991). Ambassador Djerejian has also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (1986-1988) and Deputy Chief of the U.S. mission to the Kingdom of Jordan (1981-1984). In these capacities he played a key role in the Arab-Israeli peace process, the U.S.-led coalition against Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, successful efforts to end the civil war in Lebanon, the release of U.S. hostages in Lebanon, and the establishment of collective and bilateral security arrangements in the Persian Gulf.
Ambassador Djerejian was assigned to the White House in 1985 as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Press Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
In addition to his experience in Middle Eastern affairs, Ambassador Djerejian is also an expert in Soviet and Russian affairs. He was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 1979 to 1981, where he headed the political section, during the critical period in U.S.-Soviet relations marked by the invasion of Afghanistan.
Ambassador Djerejian joined the Foreign Service in 1962, after serving in the United States Army as a First Lieutenant in the Republic of Korea between 1961 and 1962. In addition to his assignments in Moscow and Amman, he served as a political officer in Beirut, Lebanon (1966-1969) and Casablanca, Morocco (1969-1972). Between 1975 and 1977 he was assigned as our Consul General in Bordeaux, France.
Ambassador Djerejian graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1960. He received an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities from his alma mater in 1992. He speaks Arabic, Russian, French and Armenian.
Ambassador Djerejian received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in 1994, the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award in 1993 and numerous other honors, including the President’s Meritorious Service Award in 1988, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1993, and the Anti-Defamation League’s Moral Statesman Award in 1994. He is a member of a number of public policy organizations, including the Council on Foreign Relations. Ambassador Djerejian is on the Board of Directors of a number of corporate and non-profit organizations and is a consultant to private companies.
He was born and raised in New York City. He and his wife, Francoise Haelters, have a son, Gregory, and a daughter, Francesca.